The importance of having a well-built, comprehensive website for every writer in 2023 shouldn’t be underestimated. Choosing the right promotional strategy can turn it into a gold mine for lucrative book sales.
In this article, we’ll cover reasons why authors need a website, guide you on website creation, and share marketing strategies that will drive traffic to your author page.
Firstly, in the heyday of the digital era, it’s expected for all creators to have a website. Secondly, building a website that attracts visitors and converts them into readers contributes to winning the race in the competitive digital world of publishing.
According to Statista, there are about 45,200 writers and authors in the US, but only 21% of full-time publishing authors make a living solely by writing books. To stand out, you need to put in the effort.
If you’re self-publishing, your website plays an e-commerce role, representing an online store. In the case of selling books with an independent publishing company, your website may be a significant part of your brand by revealing your credentials and letting your audience get to know more about you.
Now you’ll find out how to create a professional-looking, mobile-friendly website for your marketing and branding needs.
Generally, website creation consists of 3 main steps:
If your budget for creating and maintaining a website is on the higher side, you can always work with a professional web developer for your needs.
However, modern website creation with CMS platforms has become so simple that there’s no need to hire a professional if you’re willing to put in some work to set things up. Anyone, even a newbie with a modest knowledge of computers, can make a functional website with an attractive, user-friendly design.
The most popular website building platform is WordPress. It’s free, has a huge number of templates, automatically makes your website suitable for mobile and tablet devices, offers good tech support with many developer-consultants ready to help.
To launch a new website, you need two things:
The WordPress platform itself is free, but the domain name and hosting will cost you around $ 3-5 per month.
With the purchase of a domain name and hosting service, you will also receive a personal email address (or addresses). You@YourSite.com looks a lot more professional than a standard Gmail or Yahoo address.
Now that you’re done with the domain and hosting, it’s high time to create a website. All that’s left is to add some content.
Main elements of a writer’s website:
On this page, you can briefly mention key details of your life and credentials. Add some photos of yours, mention any upcoming events (if any).
Each book should have its own page with the title, subtitle, publisher, book cover, series and series number, publication date, binding, ISBN, and page count. Offer an excerpt to view or download and add book reviews as they come in.
Additionally, share a link to the self-publishing company or book retailer, if you partnered with any.
If you set up an ecommerce website, make sure you set up the main ecommerce elements like “add to cart”.
Even if you’re not yet sure what to do with the mailing addresses, it’s never too early to start collecting them. Once you decide to make a newsletter – you’ll have email addresses at your disposal.
Tip: Offer something of value to the user for free so they share their email address.
Write blogs on topics related to your books using relevant keywords. By doing so, you will increase the amount of organic traffic to your site.
Stay active and make sure you post at least once a month.
Mention all the possible ways readers can contact you: email address, links to social media, contact forms, etc.
Creating a good website is essential, but it isn’t enough to attract new readers or convert existing ones into buying your books. To do so, it’s necessary to promote your website on other channels.
We’ll share a few tools and techniques that affect website promotion on search engines. These recommendations are universal and applicable to any website, regardless of the way it was built.
Analyzing data is essential to keep track of what works & what doesn’t. Google Analytics is a free tool for precise site performance. The installation process is simple – just check Google’s instructions.
The most important metrics for an author to monitor:
Keywords are individual words or phrases that internet users type into search engines to find products, services, or information. Carefully selected keywords can provide a website with a large influx of targeted users.
There are several tools for this task:
The initial analysis can be reduced to a small list of, for example, 10-20 core words/phrases, which you have to include in the content of your website.
The goal here is not to use as many keywords as possible, but one keyword with several related ones per page.
There are 7 main elements where keywords can be used:
Be sure to analyze your top keywords and their sources. It will give you an understanding of the words and phrases people use to find your website.
A sitemap is a navigator that helps search engines crawl a site correctly and index its pages. To do this, you need to collect all the pages of the site into one file (sitemap.txt or sitemap.xml) using a sitemap generator, and put it in the root directory of your website.
Add “Follow me” buttons to your social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. from your website. The more you’re able to build a following, the better. When you publish a new book or blog on your website, you can promote it to your followers to drive traffic back to your site.
This works both ways, it’s a great way to drive traffic to and from your website and social media accounts.
To wrap things up, we hope this convinces you to create your author’s website, build rapport with your readers, strengthen your brand, and sell more books!